The planned commercial merger between the PGA Tour, LIV Golf and DP World Tour has been the subject of an investigation by the US Senate.
Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation, Richard Blumenthal, has requested all related documents of the merger to be handed over , stemming from concerns related to LIV Golf owners the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Blumenthal wrote to the PGA Tour: “PIF’s role as an arm of the Saudi government and PGA Tour’s sudden and drastic reversal of position concerning LIV Golf raise serious questions regarding the reasons for and terms behind the announced agreement.
“Prior to this agreement, PGA Tour was one of the loudest critics of LIV Golf’s affiliation with Saudi Arabia.”
The merger, which was announced last week, shocked the golf world after years of hostility between the PGA and LIV Golf which also resulted in a court battle between the two entities.
Whilst the planned merger underlined that a process for application would be ‘fair and objective’, the announcement left many current PGA stars questioning the merger. Rory McIlroy recently stated that he “feels like a sacrificial lamb”, revealing he learnt of the deal on the day as everyone else did.
The US Senate is now also sceptical of the deal, as Blumenthal identifies foreign sovereign wealth funds as potentially damaging to ‘cherished American institutions’ such as PIF’s involvement alongside the PGA Tour.
There are also complaints of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record which has been documented by organisations such as Amnesty International, which also state that the country is using sports as a means to mask its poor human rights record, also known as ‘sportswashing’.
The PGA is expected to hand over documents relating to the LIV Golf merger by 26 June.